Football: Transfer window quietly closes with Almiron biggest deadline deal

Football: Transfer window quietly closes with Almiron biggest deadline deal

In England, the biggest deal on deadline day has been Newcastle United's capture of Paraguay midfielder Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United for a reported club-record fee of £20 million (US$26 million).

Miguel Almiron
Paraguay's player Miguel Almiron attends a training session. (REUTERS/Jorge Adorno)

PARIS: The January transfer window shut in Europe's leading leagues at 2300 GMT on Thursday(Jan 31), with Newcastle United's signing of Miguel Almiron the biggest deal to go through on a deadline day almost devoid of activity at the Premier League's biggest clubs.

Paraguay midfielder Miguel Almiron joined Newcastle from MLS Cup winners Atlanta United for a reported £20 million ($26 million), a fee that breaks the club record.

"The league is very competitive, this is a historic club, and (manager) Rafa Benitez himself were the main reasons why I am here now," said the 24-year-old on joining the struggling side.

Meanwhile, of the Premier League's 'Big Six', the only ones to dip into the market on Thursday were Arsenal, who took midfielder Denis Suarez on loan from Barcelona.

Their rivals kept their cheque books closed as the window shut, although Chelsea had already signed Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus after buying USA winger Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund for £58 million, loaning him back for the rest of the season.

"During one month I said we are not going to do anything in the transfer market," insisted Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola earlier in the week.

Apart from Almiron, Newcastle also took Monaco full-back Antonio Barreca on loan. Elsewhere, Wolves completed an £18 million deal to sign Jonny Castro permanently from Atletico Madrid.

Meanwhile, Leicester City signed Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans on loan from Monaco, with Adrien Silva going the other way.

BREXIT FACTOR?

The possible elephant in the room in a comparatively low-key window has been Brexit, given the uncertainty caused by the issue dominating British politics.

The resulting impact on sterling's value against the euro and the dollar might not help, but are clubs genuinely holding back on transfer deals because of the United Kingdom's impending departure from the European Union?

One British-based agent told AFP there is "great uncertainty" among some foreign players, but added that he had not "seen a change in behaviour from clubs at this point".

BARCELONA LEAD THE WAY

While the window has been quiet in England, some of Europe's biggest names have made moves, mostly well before deadline day, with Barcelona leading the way.

The Spanish champions agreed to pay Ajax €75 million - plus €11 million in bonuses - to take 21-year-old midfielder Frenkie de Jong for next season.

They also signed Kevin-Prince Boateng on loan from Sassuolo as a back-up in attack, following the loan signing of Valencia defender Jeison Murillo. Promising French centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo has signed from Toulouse.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid took former Real striker Alvaro Morata on loan from Chelsea, while their city rivals brought in young midfielder Brahim Diaz from Manchester City for €17 million.

PSG STRENGTHEN IN MIDFIELD

In France, Paris Saint-Germain strengthened in midfield with the signing of Argentina's Leandro Paredes from Zenit Saint Petersburg for a reported 47 million euros, but that was their only signing.

Marseille signed Mario Balotelli from Nice, and struggling Monaco made eight signings, headed by Cesc Fabregas from Chelsea.

In Germany, Bayern Munich signed Canadian teenager Alphonso Davies from Vancouver Whitecaps. The Bavarians also completed a deal to take France defender Benjamin Pavard from Stuttgart from Jul 1 for a reported €35 million.

Meanwhile, RB Leipzig continued the trend of British teenagers moving to the Bundesliga, signing Arsenal youngster Emile Smith-Rowe on loan.

PIATEK, PAQUETA TO MILAN

In Italy, Juventus allowed Mehdi Benatia to leave for Qatar and replaced him with the Uruguayan Martin Caceres, but Milan have splashed most cash.

The seven-time European champions cut short Higuain's loan from Juventus and replaced him with Genoa's Polish hotshot Krzysztof Piatek for a reported €35 million.

Brazil midfielder Lucas Paqueta, 21, joined from Flamengo for a similar fee.

Further afield, Russian clubs have until Feb 22 to make signings, while the Chinese transfer window is open until Feb 28, and Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini could be the latest big name to move there.

Source: AFP/de

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